Addicted to novelty since 2001

An Ad Covering the Entire Front Page?

Roland took a photo of this Monday’s Metro, one of the silly free newspapers that were launched this spring. As you can see, the entire front page is an ad. He writes:

Sad but true. I like Metro’s writing better than Dose or 24 Hours but having their front page be an ad is not “doing the right thing”.

I’m not sure why he put ‘doing the right thing’ in quotes, unless he was directly citing some advice given to Mookie.

My initial response was to harangue the Metro for this decision. After thinking about it, though, it seems like an honest move. These papers are free, and only have a tangential relationship with journalism. They’re never going to break a story–they’re mostly covering fluffy trash and writing newswire summaries. The paper’s sole purpose is to deliver advertising to the masses. What’s the most viewed real estate in the paper? The front cover. If you believe in the power of advertising (which I don’t, particularly in mass markets), it’s money well spent by Bell Canada.

Am I disappointed by the Metro’s compromise? Not really. It’s an awful paper, unfit to line the cage of a one-legged, astigmatic parakeet. All they’re doing is being frank about their goals, which is to make us look at ads.

3 Responses to “An Ad Covering the Entire Front Page?”

  1. Matthew

    I, too, thought it was pretty shameless. Then I noticed that the ad cover was in fact a wrap-around advertisement, and the real Metro with a more traditional cover was inside. Does that make a difference? I think maybe, though I don’t know if I can explain why. The Vancouver Sun does the occasional wrap-around cover, too – but usually for Literacy Week or events like that.

  2. roland tanglao

    you caught me :-)!, yup it was a reference to the 1989 Spike Lee Movie “Do the Right Thing”!

  3. -j.

    My astigmatic parakeet takes offence, sir.

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